Hi, this is Admin here (Dave’s alter ego, and the BOFH that holds all the power. Don’t tell Dave!). I make all the changes to how the website works.
Many of the articles Dave posts have a lot of links to other websites embedded right in the middle of sentences. It’s Dave’s expectation that the reader will follow those links to learn more about what he’s talking about. Recently some comments on the posts on this website lead me to believe that some readers aren’t even aware of the links. I feel that might be because the website’s style is to bold links, but not underline them, as links usually are. Sure, it looks great, but if it isn’t doing the job of identifying that text as a link to somewhere else, then it has to be changed.
At a recent Agile Bazaar meeting, I had a talk with a Web Designer who specializes in accessibility and standards, PJ Gardner, Founder of Gardner Information Design. I’ve known her for a long time, and respect her opinion. She advised me to put back the underlining of links, and I did. It does make certain things on the website look a little less clean, to be sure, but usability is more important to me than beauty, so I’m keeping it that way. Feel free to comment here and let me know whether you like it or not.
By the way, she also recommended I not put all those links in the middle of sentences. I don’t know if I can do that, though, because my style depends so heavily on it, and frankly it allows me to crank out short but meaningful posts without much layout work.